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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Angle: Gracedale's Fate Will Be Known Today

G-Day. Northampton County Council Prez Ron Angle has announced that he'll know today whether Gracedale can be saved. "If they [Gracedale workers] bring in $6 million for the people they claim to love, I'll vote for management," he stated at a combined meeting of the Council's combined Personnel and Finance committees. Angle stated that, thanks to a "rat on Council," i.e. Lamont McClure, the public knows that AFSCME has already offered $3 million in concessions. "If the union gives us $6 million back, we owe it to them and taxpayers to get a management firm."

Six Council members - Ron Angle, John Cusick, Tom Dietrich, Peg Ferraro , Bruce Gilbert and Barb Thierry - attended portions or all of yesterday's committee meetings. Mike Dowd, Ann McHale and Lamont McClure were absent. In addition to these Council members, four friends of Gracedale were in the peanut gallery. Noting them, Angle asked them if they had anything to say. "We're just here to watch you work," answered one of them, a spiritual advisor who is a ringer for Pancho Villa.

That didn't last long.

How Will Sale or Lease Affect Gracedale Staffers?

HR Director Patricia Siemiontkowski answered some nuts-and-bolts questions posed by John Cusick about the impact of a sale or lease on the Gracedale Staff.

If Gracedale is sold or leased, what happens to my pension? - All pensions are vested after five years of employment. The employee can keep it, or roll it over into a pension or IRA with a new employer.

If eligible to retire, can a Gracedale employee collect a pension and work for the new owner or lessee? - Yes.

What about bumping? Can a Gracedale staffer bump into a position elsewhere within the County? - Yes and No. Clerical employees would be able to bump into positions for which they have seniority and are qualified, at the Courthouse or elsewhere. It is unlikely that nurses would be able to bump.

What about accrued sick leave and vacation? - That's a matter for impact bargaining.

What about employees on workers' compensation? - Pat believes they would continue to receive compensation, but needs to do more research.

What happens to health insurance? - Staffers will be offered Cobra, which lasts 18 months.

Tom Dietrich, County Emissary

One of the arguments against selling or leasing Gracedale is that the quality of care will decrease and County workers will be let go. Well, over the last two weeks, Council member has been an emissary, visiting nursing homes sold by three other counties. (Dauphin - 3 years ago; Northumberland - 8 months ago; and Lackawanna - 4 months ago).

Dietrich stated he'd announce his findings at his Human Services Committee today,but generally sated that there are "happy patients throughout the system." In Dauphin County, the number of employees has increased.

Peg Ferraro was on no diplomatic mission herself, but has many friends with family members in private nursing homes. She stated that just that afternoon, a friend visiting a family member noticed that lunch consisted of one black banana. And when Peg's friend called to complain, she was hooked up with somebody in Canada. "Maybe we'll get someone from India," she speculated.

Gracedale Implementing Consultant's Recommendations

Human Services Director Ross Marcus told Council that many of the recommendations made by consultant Complete HealthCare have already been implemented. He indicated that this year, the expected $6.1 million County contribution has been lowered twice, and is now at about $5.5 million. But he acknowledged there have been some troubles in the quick admission policy. And John Cusick added, "I'm not sure government is in a position to market nursing homes."

Gracedale Friends Threaten Political Consequences

Pancho Villa, unable to restrain himself any longer, told Angle that several members of Council appear to have already made up their minds, and "when the election happens, I've got to make a decision, too." Angle answered, "Well, you should go to a carnival and get a job reading minds." He added that, aside from Gracedale, he needs to worry about the "thousands of people trying to stay in their homes."

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely will remember how each and every council person voted on the Gracedale situation. Sell or lease and you will be out of a seat that is a given. Speak to nurses who have been in local facilities over the years and they will tell you the care received at Gracedale is far above any other facility. This is what is important THE CARE provided ! And thats worth every dime spent. Where are you going Mr Angle? Mr Stoffa?

Anonymous said...

"Well, you should go to a carnival and get a job reading minds."

Now that is a professional response. How about some professionalism Angle?

You already know what you are going to do so do it!!!!

You will sell to the fellow that called you on your phone concerning the sale of Gracedale. You know the one Bernie mentioned last week?

I am glad that through the right channels we can obtain phone records. As this will be a great tool in the future.

Anonymous said...

Rat?

Anonymous said...

He added that, aside from Gracedale, he needs to worry about the "thousands of people trying to stay in their homes."




No worries though, if you are unable to keep your home...the Bulldog will be there to buy it out from under you with all the money he will save by avoiding a tax increase.

Anonymous said...

This entire thing has been a farce. A complete set-up. The County Council and the Stoffa Administration had no intention of keeping Gracedale. All sick theater. The sad thing is for the union to come up with three million is amazing but Stoffa knew $6 million was impossible. This is the saddest chapter in County history. These elected people just don't get it. They listen to a few of their hot-headed birther friends and think that is how the average County resident thinks. Most people(taxpayers) see Gracedale as a core service and a promise and want it to remain a public facility. They don't buy the bogus study or the Angle/Stoffa propaganda.

This will resonate in peoples minds and it will be as historic in Northampton County as, "Remember the Alamo", has been in Texas.

Remember Gracedale will be the clarion call that will forever rid the County of the Stoffas and tea party birther councilmen in the future. If that is the only thing that comes out of this massacre, at least it is something.

"REMEMBER GRACEDALE" never forget!

Anonymous said...

One would think that 3 million is a huge concession by the union. Why not meet in the middle?

Maybe Angle should give a little himself. After all without a tax hike he will be the biggest winner of us all.

Anonymous said...

"REMEMBER GRACEDALE" never forget!


Bernie will either delete your post, or call you the "3am troll" or the hall walker....you know his MO.

Great in site however, and I couldn't agree more!!

Anonymous said...

Gracedale what?

Anonymous said...

spoiled union brats. 3 mill is a drop in the bucket compared to how you have raped the county over the years. sell the white elephant gracedale and rid the county of the greedy union crybabies

Anonymous said...

Sell it and force the union goldbricks to find real work.

Anonymous said...

most of these posts smell of union thugs who have their hands in the pockets of irresponsible elected Council members (D's) and of greedy employees who claim they care about the residents but only care about their continued out of control wages and benefits and screwing the system. Nothing disgusts me more than pandering elect-ed's and selfish liars. Go work like the rest of us in the private sector and see what real work is all about. My taxes had better not go up because of you jerks.

Anonymous said...

by the way 1:03 - your a moron and probably a welfare recipient who is sucking off the rest of us already. Remember that you're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

What happens to health insurance? - Staffers will be offered Cobra, which lasts 18 months.

Cobra costs a fortune.

Anonymous said...

gracedale is an institution that deserves to be saved . will selling gracedale mean there won't be tax increase next year or the following year ? i doubt it , these elected officals were elected by the voters to act for the people all of them they should ALL be doing everything possible to save gracedale there isn't a single one that you can believe or trust , what a shame from everything thats been written it looks like it's a done deal !!!! these so called meetings are nothing more than a feel good thing it just makes me sick . meanwhile ron angle and john stoffa don't have to worry how they'll feed there families or about here pensions afterall john stoffa gets 2 these people should hang there heads in shame they only people they care about is themselves ... is this the reason they didn't settle the nurses contract ? this was in the works the whole time wasn't it ? i will continue to pray for everyone affected by this and i pray Right thinking minds prevail. save gracedale !

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:03 AM

Maybe if you had a job you wouldn't be up at 1 AM attacking people who are trying to make the best of a difficult situation.

According to you, the last administration was wonderful (even those who went to jail!) but this one can not do anything right. You are a jerk and a joke!

Bernie O'Hare said...

will selling gracedale mean there won't be tax increase next year or the following year ?"

Pretty much. It will also solve the $17 MM swaption probllem. If the union comes up with $6 MM in concessions,Stoffa still has a $6 MM hole and will need a tax increase. I'd go along with that bc $6MM is less than a mill. Then we could bring in private management to try all the efficiencies recommended by the consultant. But I suspect the union is unwilling to give $6 MM for the people they claim to love.

Anonymous said...

and i do believe they love them ... have you ever done that type of work ? they truly become like family ,you spend more time with them then your own family sometimes ,when you go home you think of them to so i think it's disgenious to make that type of remark it's unfair , do you think these people should work for nothing? how about the management and john stoffa take responsibilty for poor ,poor , mismanagement of the money .... stop building .... buildings , parking lots, plants they don't grow etc... etc... save gracedale ! it's the right thing to do !

Anonymous said...

and i do believe they love them ... have you ever done that type of work ? they truly become like family ,you spend more time with them then your own family sometimes ,when you go home you think of them to so i think it's disgenious to make that type of remark it's unfair , do you think these people should work for nothing? how about the management and john stoffa take responsibilty for poor ,poor , mismanagement of the money .... stop building .... buildings , parking lots, plants they don't grow etc... etc... save gracedale ! it's the right thing to do !

Bernie O'Hare said...

If working in a nursing home means you love the residents there, then that means people who work in private nursing homes love residents, too. In fact, they must love them even more than Gracedale people bc it is for less money.

Let's e honest. This has nothing to do with the residents, to whom every member of Council iscommitted. It has to do with the obscene benefits being paid out andpoor management. Ther County is willing to do something about the management if you're willing to do something about the obscene benefits.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You shouldchange the motto from "Save Gracedale" to "Save our outrageous benefits."

Taxpayers just love paying for a 1700% increased in defined benefit pensions.

Anonymous said...

i refuse to believe that ... i think this has been in the works for many ,many months and would not be the least bit surprised if abe atiegh is the purchaser ! sad ,sad state of affairs why not have a refurendum on it then the taxpayers will have there say ... i think john stoffa and ron angle are afraid of that outcome !

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although Angle claims a referendum would be illegal, I don't buy that. I think it would be a non-binding referendum. I'd love to see a referendum, but the problem is one of timing. The County needs money NOW, not in 3 to 5 years. The time wasted in a referendum would mean major tax increases. Of course, you do have a remedy at the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

1700% !!! WTF ! My 401k's been getting killed. My benefit premiums and co-pays go up every year. The money in my mattress isn't making interest. I'm trying to keep my house. 1700% ? They need to be gone yesterday. It is obscene. It's greedy. 1700% should be repeated and repeated and repeated.

Hard Working Man said...

"Go work like the rest of us in the private sector and see what real work is all about."

You sound jealous that you are stuck in the private sector. If the private sector sucks so bad get out of it.

And for the other idiot...I happen to work middle shift. That explains why I am up at 1am. Not that I need to explain anything.

Why is it you people can't see why Angle wants to avoid raising taxes? Do you really think he is looking out for you?

He owns the most properties in NorCo and he would take a huge hit.

No matter what happens if they don't raise taxes this year they will next year, probably enough to make up for the one they didn't have this year.

Meanwhile Angle saves tons of money this year and laughs at all he has fooled.

Personally I don't care if Gracedale is sold or leased, so long as it is best for the taxpayer.

I do care however that Angle is fielding calls from prospective buyers, and that has to be some kind of violation.

Pull your heads out of your asses and ask that every conversation concerning the sale or lease be made public!!

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more .... something smells awfully funny here .

Wnston Smith said...

All of the anon comments in favor of keeping Gracedale were posted by me. I am everyone in here. So really there is only 1 person in favor of keeping Gracedale. ME

Winston Smith said...

Now for a comment. As I watched the news tonight I was shocked to hear that the negotiations are over because the union walked out. At this point I can't comment on that, however, I would like to know WHO brought up successorship clauses and WHY they were brought up. I thought todays meetings were going to be the union and council working on the other 3 million needed to keep this place in county hands.
Well during the broadcast up pops Ronnie Angle he said the successorship clause (which is the new owners abiding by the old contracts)would make it impossible to sell. Since the UNION has given up three million in give backs it will be more appealing to prospective buyers.

THE COOKOO RESTS HIS CASE

Bernie you now really owe me an apology. Are you man enough to give it?

Winston Smith said...

Okay the stupid union brought up the successorship clause. This could have waited until they decided to sell or not. These unions should inflate that rat in their own offices. The screwed their own members.

Winston Smith said...

6-2

Angle will in farmer lingo

"reap what he has sown"

Anonymous said...

Word is Steve Barron put out the real numbers and Angle said "you are done here!!"

Now I was not at the meeting, but is this a threat? What can Angle do to him, and why would it make him so angry?

Angle again showed great class with his idle threats.

Anonymous said...

We who support Gracedale must show these people the door when they run for re-election.

Anonymous said...

This topic is so important to the taxpayer. Why not put in on the Nov. ballot and let the taxpayer settle it.

If they vote to sell then fine if not, then they voted for a tax hike. Makes the most sense, yet it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Private sector vs. county workers? What a bunch of bullshit. I am so sick of hearing about this. Anyone and I mean anyone could have walked into the court house and marched up to human resources and filled out a god damn application. Get over it. I can tell you that MANY people have come thru the doors of the office I work in and laugh in the face of the supervisor when they are told the salary. Then they get up and say THANKS BUT NO THANKS...I CAN'T LIVE ON THAT SALARY!!! Seen it dozens of times. Times are tough ALL OVER not just in the private sector. Oh gee...my spouse works in the private sector...hmm...guess that would be "sleeping with the enemy?"
STFU

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:to everyone who side with Angle try doing our jobs then tell us if we deserve everything we get . If you worked in this job for a day you would know we deserve every hard earned penny we get and more so f you.Oh thats right you need to be compassionate,loving,and caring to do our job so just forget it you wont even get hired they would kick you to the curb.Maybe someone should do a background check on Angle because he has alot of DIRT against him that the public dont know about.Right Mr.Angle.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I can really feel your compassion.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare your a ignorant jerk like Angle . dickhead should be your name